• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13
  14. 14

Great Expectations Analysis

Extracts from this document...


Great Expectations Using the three extracts you have studied, examine the effect various characters have on Pip, and their effect on the reader. Having perused Charles Dickens' Great Expectations, I intend to analyse various extracts form the novel. I strive to discuss the attributes of three significant characters, describe how and why their behaviour differs form one another, and examine their overall effect on Pip, the protagonist. The individuals I shall be scrutinising are: Magwitch, an absconded convict; Miss Havisham, an affluent elitist who was callously abandoned at the altar; and Wemmick, a nonconformist lawyer's clerk. Great Expectations was originally published in serialized form in a periodical entitled 'The Strand'. The highly commended narrative tracks the existence of Phillip Pirrip, also known as Pip, from his lower-class Victorian upbringing through to later life as a refined gentleman, with him encountering ample predicaments along the way. Dickens composed many acclaimed titles in the late 1800s including Oliver Twist, Bleak House and A Christmas Carol. The majority of his works highlighted the adversity, suffering and destitution that the Victorian youth were forced to endure. This meticulously resembles Dickens' own poignant childhood, during which his father was imprisoned for failing to disburse taxes. Dickens felt morally obliged to inform the general population of the hardship, anguish and desolation that was tolerated by plebeian citizens, predominantly the younger generation. During the first extract we are introduced to Pip, through his own reflective narration, who is visiting the gravestones of his parents and brothers in a secluded cemetery within the Kent marshes. Before readers are acquainted with the protagonist, Dickens evokes sympathy towards Pip by immediately informing the reader of his heartrending past. The phrase '...I never saw my father or my mother...' kindles an empathy of pity for Pip because he has dealt with an overwhelming amount of grief at such a tender age. As I read this particular passage, I suspected that Pip is an extremely strong-willed character for coping so well under such tragic circumstances. ...read more.


Throughout the extended metaphor, numerous macabre allusions to death conjure an image of fragility and impassivity for the reader. References including 'grave clothes', 'shroud' and 'corpse-like'. succeed in evoking empathy towards Miss Havisham. Additionally, the death citations strengthen the depressing tone of the extract. I think that Dickens has made ample references to death in order to give readers the impression that Pip's future is cataclysmic. Subsequently, Pip eventually receives an opportunity to reveal his true opinion of Estella. Miss Havisham interrogates Pip with the intention of determining whether or not her malevolent plan is succeeding. She is ecstatic when Pip replies 'I think she is very pretty'. She has prevailed in her aim to secure Pip's infatuation with her adoptive daughter. When Havisham recurrently demands 'Anything else?' she has identified that Pip feels distressed and awkward, yet she forces him to expand on his thoughts. However, Miss Havisham is unnerved when Pip unexpectedly reciprocates with 'I think I should like to go home'. Havisham takes umbrage at the fact that Pip is refusing to comply with her debauchery. This is apparent when she indignantly stipulates 'You shall go soon, play the game out'. Dickens has exerted this distinctive phrase to illustrate Havisham's perpetual domination. Readers' sympathy for Pip is strengthened because it is apparent that he remains inferior to Havisham. Dickens implies that Estella has triumphed both in their game of cards and in compelling Pip to feel deficient by considering him to be of equal significance to a beggar through employment of the ambiguous phrase 'she beggared me'. As I read this particular pronouncement, I envisaged Estella to have an aloof expression towards Pip and be treating him with utter disregard. From this conceptualization, I deduced that Estella is a heartless, self-centred girl who holds no consideration for anybody else's feelings. My personal enmity towards Estella resulted in my sympathy towards Pip rising. ...read more.


In general, Wemmick is benign and urbane; his optimistic qualities are contagious. As a result of this, Pip begins to be more appreciative and sanguine. In conclusion, Dickens has achieved his intention of depicting an intriguing amalgamation of characters and a riveting coalition or situations. These enthralling predicaments maintain the audience's fascination with the novel and sustain readers' infinite captivation. 'Great Expectations' is a reflection of Pip's capricious journey through life; Dickens has proficiently evinced how fundamental eventualities in the past can determine an individual's future. Dickens' novel appeals to a wide audience because the principles of the occurrences can be effortlessly linked to contemporary society. This enhances the aspect of reality in 'Great Expectations', ensuring that the narrative remains perpetually popular. During the Victorian era, when the novel was primarily published, Dickens was classed as controversial due to his pioneering opinions and innovative outlook. Victorian readers would have been astounded at his audacity to bring to light the horrific plight of working-class children; this developed a contentious dissent and a furore surrounding Dickens. The pandemonium that encompassed the author was furthered by his portrayal of a convict as a virtuous individual. Largely, Victorian readers were bigoted and prejudiced and had not heretofore comprehended that a criminal can reform. I think that Dickens' polemic argument transformed the views of the populace, henceforth revolutionizing civilization. I believe that Dickens was so successful because his works of fiction were written from an impartial perspective and he represented both underprivileged and affluent characters, meaning that indigent and wealthy citizens alike could relate to the individuals. Personally, I delighted in reading the novel since it gave me an insight into life in the Victorian epoch whilst also highlighting significant social issues such as the Victorian class structure. Although I may not favour all the characters, I appreciate that an antagonist can add to the readers' enthrallment. I predominantly enjoyed perusing the graveyard scene as it is exceedingly tense and exhilarating. Overall, I think that 'Great Expectations' is an outstanding novel and that Charles Dickens is a tremendously copasetic author. Amy Collins Page 1 of 14 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Great Expectations section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Great Expectations essays

  1. Great Expectations Character analysis of Magwitch and Pip

    In chapter one Magwitch was a desperate convict who had recently escaped from his prison transport and was running from the law. In contrast to chapter thirty nine Magwitch claims to have travelled extensively been to the 'New World' meaning he has been to places like America, Australia and New Zealand.

  2. How does Dickens present the character of Miss Havisham in Great Expectations?

    This second description of the outside of Satis house also makes me feel as if Dickens was once again referring to Miss Havishams behaviour and the way society viewed her. I reckon that the walled up windows represent the way she never left the house after that fatal day, and

  1. Examine how Dickens deals with the issue of social class in Great Expectations.

    Magwitch recounts the trial in court, "My lord and gentleman, here you has afore you, side by side, two persons as your eyes can separate wide; one, the younger, well brought up, who will be spoke to as such; one, the elder, ill brought up, who will be spoke to

  2. How does Dickens present childhood in Great Expectations?

    It has been "worn smooth by collision", suggesting it has been used many times. However, as physically weak as Pip may be presented, emotionally he is reasonably tough for a seven year old orphan.

  1. Miss Havisham

    The tone she uses with Pip is softer and sincerer as she refers to him as 'dear' rather than 'boy' Dickens then shows the reader that Miss Havisham has started to show love and consideration towards Pip. Miss Havisham begins to crave forgiveness from Pip as she states 'can I

  2. How does Charles Dickens portray the character of Mr Jaggers

    He never shows emotions when he is at work as he sees it as being unprofessional and Jaggers would not like it if he showed emotions at work. I think Wemmick is a very emotional man at home but tries to lock up his feelings at work and does a very good job of it.

  1. An exploration of the ways in which issues of class and status are presented ...

    lesson of what it is to be a real gentlemen as being beyond simple monetary value; he is able to understand the plot he's in and play an active role in changing it; in working out the mystery of Estella's parentage and trying to enable Magwitch to escape.

  2. How does Dickens present Magwitch in the opening of Great Expectations?

    The word 'hold' portrays Magwitch as a controlling character. This is an example of irony because Dickens describes Magwitch as 'controlling' however in the situation Pip is the one with the power as he can choose whether or not to help Magwitch.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work